Centrica’s (LON:CNA) share price has fallen deep into the red in London this Monday as The Sunday Times reported over the weekend that the British Gas owner was planning to trim its dividend. The news comes as the blue-chip company prepares to update investors on its half-year performance on July 30.
As of 14:21 BST, Centrica’s share price had given up 2.42 percent to 88.08p, underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having climbed marginally into positive territory and currently standing 0.19 percent higher at 7,523.02 points. The group’s shares have given up more than 42 percent of their value over the past year, as compared with about a two-percent drop in the Footsie.
Centrica could trim dividend
The Sunday Times reported yesterday that Centrica was to slash its payout to shareholders with chief executive Iain Conn looking to revive the struggling British Gas owner, whose market value has fallen from nearly £14 billion when he joined in 2015, to £5.3 billion. The newspaper further reported that the FTSE 100 group is further set to put its 69 percent stake in oil and gas explorer Spirit Energy up for sale.
The move will come after Centrica said in May that the trading environment had been challenging due to external factors, including the UK default tariff cap, warmer than normal weather and falling UK natural gas prices. At the time, the company said that it would provide a strategic update on its portfolio and prospects alongside its interim results in July.
Analysts on British Gas owner
Credit Suisse, which is ‘neutral’ on the FTSE 100 company, lowered its target on the Centrica share price from 145p to 105p today, while Barclays reaffirmed the company as an ‘underweight’ last week, without specifying a valuation on the shares. According to MarketBeat, the British Gas owner currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 113.46p.